Friday, October 13, 2017

Corned beef hash

This is a simple dish, but remarkably tasty and filling. It uses a can of corned beef - NOT the same thing as Spam!

Fry a finely chopped onion until soft. Add a can of corned beef and break the meat down into smallish chunks with a spoon. Keep frying, stirring to prevent the mix from catching on the pan, until the meat breaks down into a mush. Add a can of baked beans and stir in a generous squirt of tomato ketchup. Keep cooking on low until the mixture thickens up a bit.

Serve with mashed potatoes and veg.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


Not something we had ever come across until we moved to Canada, but very much a favorite over here.

We keep bags of frozen perogies ready to be used. Easy to take out the required quantity. These are surprisingly filling little blighters. I reckon on serving only 6 to 8 per person, so you do need to count them out or you can easily over-cater.

Cook the perogies according to instructions - basically boiling for about 10 minutes.

Serve topped with sour cream, grated cheese, fried bacon, and chopped chives and spring onions.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Butternut squash soup

We have often bought packets of squash soup but never before tried making it from scratch. We were very pleased with the results.

The recipe we found is here:

In a generous knob of butter, fry a chopped onion, some celery, carrots, diced potato, and a diced squash. Add enough stock to cover, bring to the boil and simmer until the veg is soft. Blend, and stir in salt and pepper. The result should be a very thick soup.

Departing from the recipe, we then stirred in a generous dash of cream and another knob of butter, and served with bacon bits and grated Parmesan.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Beef stew & dumplings

This is the time of year when the hearty, warming recipes start coming to the fore. This is a regular favorite for the cooler evenings.

Fry a large chopped onion, steak cut into cubes, and a handful of button mushrooms quartered. When the steak is nicely browned, decant into a covered roasting dish along with some chopped carrots and a drained can of Romano or white kidney beans. Pour over some beef stock with a spoonful of gravy browning mixed in. You don't want it swimming, but the liquid should more-or-less come to the top of the other ingredients.

Pop in the oven for at least an hour. How long overall depends on the cut of meat, cheaper cuts need longer cooking.

For the dumplings, mix together flour and suet in 2 to 1 proportions (my rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 of suet per person) with a generous spoonful of baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix in cold water until you have a sticky dough. Spoon over the top of the stew and return to the oven until the dumplings have fluffed up and gone crispy golden on top - about 1/2 hour.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thai chicken wraps

This is a quick and simple meal, something we made up, with no pretense at any cultural origins. In fact, it's a bit of a hodge-podge of influences :)

Breadcrumb (either fresh or Panko) some chicken pieces and fry until crisp and cooked through. We usually use boneless thighs rather than breast, because they have more flavor and moisture. If cooking whole, slice thinly once cooked.

Serve on flour tortillas with mayonnaise or sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and a good dash of Thai sweet chili sauce.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chana Saag

A chick pea curry, one of our favorite side dishes.

Fry a chopped onion until golden. Add spices (curry paste, cumin, coriander) then a couple of chopped tomatoes and a drained can of chick peas. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for at least an hour. Stir occasionally - the tomatoes should provide enough liquid for the dish, but it can catch on the pan if you're not careful.

Once the tomatoes have mashed down, add a generous squirt of tomato ketchup for a bit of sweetness. Near the end, stir in a good handful of spinach leaves.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Shrimp salad

After enjoying this light and easy meal while we were away camping this summer, we had it again tonight. Just because ...  :)

Mix a good portion of cooked and peeled shrimp into a Marie Rose sauce (equal dollops of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup mixed together.

Serve with a generous mixed salad, and fries or buttered new potatoes.

For a fresher and lighter taste, serve the shrimp without the sauce on top of a mixed or Caesar salad.